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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    August 14, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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optimum that you would invest in order to save that many lives for $20 trillion? we are currently spending $400 million every year at the national institutes of health on alzheimer's issues. .
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>> i am not suggesting that that is how we state money. we save the money by eliminating the disease. that requires a fundamental change in the budget act. i would issue alzheimer's bonds and have the commitment that when we had the break through and with no longer had to pay for it, but a first round of savings went to paying off the bonds that were approved in order to do the research. if you went to the brain science minister -- if you do this much brain science research, this is most explosive area of new knowledge, brain science. the brain is most complicated organism there is. there are as many as synapses in your brain as stars in the universe. you get into parkinson's disease. you get into schizophrenia. you get into autism. you begin to dance and compare
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all the sudden, by making the primary alzheimer's, it affects an entire hour rate that we will not know until after it happens. knows the difference in the model. i am suggesting a long-term commitment, not an annual budget. i am suggesting a solution we want, not the current process. i am suggesting that we break out of the bureaucratic models of the 20th century. these are fundamentally different ways of thinking. the purpose of today's session was to say to you that you'll never fix the current budget, federal, state, and local, with in the 20th-century bureaucratic interest group models. you have to think new ways, as lincoln said, and develop new solutions and you have to win the argument for those solutions and then you have to put some much pressure on elected officials that you offset the power of the interest groups. i could we can do it.
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we have done before. this is one of the great challenges to the american people in the next decade. i appreciate all you being here today. thank you very much. [applause] [no audio] (y[no audio]
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>> coming up on c-span, remarks from former president bill clinton from last night's net routes missions concert. on this morning's washington journal, we will talk to the mayor of newark new jersey. plus, mike allen of the political -- politico. f@!>> 40 years ago this weekend,
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have a million people gathered for woodstock. saturday, the co-founder texas behind the scenes. that is at 9:00 p.m., eastern on book tv. >> remarks from bill clinton. he spoke last night to progressive internet bloggers and journalists. he tossed a climate change, global healthcare, and the economy. this four-day netroots
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conference is being held in pittsburgh. [applause] >> thank you for the warm welcome. thank you for the great talk backstage the was listening to. he said 47% of the north carolina republicans did not think that president barack obama was born in america. i am glad it is that low. [laughter] the work you do for the steel workers. i had a visit with the allegheny county executive and i thank him for -- bank and for giving us a
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good building sleek and meet any police -- a place where you are doing the right thing. i apologize for my boys. i have been on too many airplanes last few days. -- i apologize for my voice. [applause] first, i would like to thank you for what you do and the contribution you have made to dramatically elevating the level of our public discourse and the base level of knowledge of people who participate in reading all the things you put out through the netroots nation. i keep a file with me on economics and a file on energy. i was looking for with the other day and i was stunned that the percentage of articles that i have actually kept the came from
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blogsites as opposed to newspapers. one reason is -- you can have more authors because your open and people have more opportunities and the full step of newspapers to write one piece a week and look into debt into things. i thank you for that. i also thank you for another thing which, as a person who has been in public life a long time, i particularly appreciate -- if you have an opinion and you take a side on an issue or an election, you don't feel like you have to pretend that you are not. i appreciate that. i and that is very important. [applause] i have had two sessions with bloggers in my office in harlem and one at the global initiative
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last year. i found them very helpful this year, between september 22 and 25, after the g-20 meet in pittsburgh and at the opening of the u.n., we are having the fifth annual global initiative. last year, we had more than 70 bloggers there. i hope we will have more than 200 this year. i want to invite you to come and cover it and see what is going on. what i try to do is the next logical step i believe to the activism that you represent. when i left the white house, i knew that i wanted to continue to work on things that i care about when i was president where i could still have an influence. the last phrase is important. the great thing about being a former president is that you can say whatever you want. the terrible thing is, nobody
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cares what you have to say anymore. [laughter] unless you're what become secretary state and they only care when you screw up. [applause] hillary and i switched roles. when i first met her, she was already acting in many non- governmental organizations. i thought politics would be my life. when i became president under her influence, i began to meet with ngo leaders in turkey, and south asia and all these places. i thought i would like to do that work when i get out. it has changed my perspective a little bit. most of the time, when i was in politics, i noticed that we debated two questions -- what are you going to do and how much money we spend on it? both those questions are important i would argue that in
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the first few decades of this new century, there's a third question which is equally if not more important and that is -- how do you propose to do it? how you propose to turn your good intentions into positive changes in the lives of others in the country and a round the world? that is basically what non- governmental groups do. that is the how business. we offer retro-virus to two million people in 70 countries. [applause] about 2/3 of all the children who get pediatric medicine. last week, after working for years only with the generic drug -- a drug companies in india and south africa, we announced our first agreement with a large pharmaceutical
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company, pfizer who have agreed to work well us to cut the price by 60% of the only drug we know that is effective in treating tuberculosis in people who have had aids for a long time. in other cases, all this medicine almost makes the conditions worse. half a million people a real died of tuberculosis who have aids. the interactions of the madison and the tb medicine are disastrous, especially if they have advanced cases. the fact that they were willing to come with me and cut the price of this 60% will save a couple of thousand -- a couple of hundred thousand lives a year in a few years. that answers how much money you do or don't have and make it go as far as possible. we tried to do the same thing in climate change where we are
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working with 40 cities around the world to produce greenhouse gas -- -- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or changing the street lights or putting in led street lights in los angeles or making the ports more efficient or working on better s'√∑transportation. i try to be a good example. in a presidential library, there is the onlyplatinum leads building. i say this to set up the point i want to make now. all this is important but politics matters, too. it matters whether we get the good climate change bill out of the congress that the president can sign for it matters whether united states has the credibility in copenhagen in december to get an agreement. the one depends on the other.
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[applause] it matters whether we correct the single most significant deficiency of our economic recovery which i do believe is well under way which is that only 9% of the homeowners eligible for mortgage relief and got no because too many of the people who hold the border just find a more probable to collect fees for closing and seldom get. we have to find a way to do that that matters. [applause] it matters whether this congress passes a comprehensive health-care reform bill that the president can sign. [applause] it also matters that, notwithstanding the work that i do or that the gates foundation does, it matters that we now have taken a new approach in our
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relationships with the rest of the world, offering the hand of partnership where possible. it matters. [applause] gori is concluding a trip to africa now with the only -- hillary is concluding a trip to africa now. a couple of days ago, she was in goma in the condo. -- congo. i think american secretaries of state should be in the worst places in the corporate officials to pick up with -- for victims and women. [applause] i think that is a very important and. -- thing. [applause] consistent with the message that president barack obama has
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delivered in ghana and the united states and everywhere else, it means that america wants to share the future. we would like to lead the world in a progressive way but we don't want to dominate and we know we cannot. we seek a future of shared prosperity and shared peace. these things matter. you can help them happen. i would like to offer a few observations about this. i hope this will be grist for your mills. first of all, briefly on the politics -- we have entered a new era of progress of politics which, if we do it right, could last 30 or 40 years. [applause] it is something i have literally spent my entire adult life
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working for. i was a 20-year-old intern in the united states congress, working for my senator, bill fulbright, in the senate foreign relations committee when the last conservative year started. the midterm elections of 1966, when the democrats suffered terrible losses and i knew after that, it would be very difficult for us to hold the white house. the people were voting out of fear and division, upset about civil rights, women's rights, busing, rise in the streets, vietnam, you name it. the republicans developed, in that election, a message that exploited the resentments and exploit the fears and exploited the divisions.
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we had a chance to overcome it in 1968, the first election in which i was old enough to vote, because robert kennedy explicitly tried to reach across the divide. when he was killed, we lost our chance. they want. -- won. president nixon who was a, as compared to others who came after him in the republican party -- [applause] he believe in affirmative action and signed a bill creating the environment protection agency, he still thought arithmetic mattered. [laughter] he went to china. they were really good at dividing people and building on resentment. the silent majority and all that. that was a racial code signal. they rocked along with that
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until president reagan came along with his unique contribution to this where he could tell a story like nobody and condensed people the government could screw up a two- car parade. he also convince them that two and two is for accept in washington d.c. where arithmetic did not matter any more. trickle-down economics was good for poor people, he said. and middle-class people. with those two strikes, the cultural division, and the corporate world of economics, they managed to triple the government that in four years while middle-class by use dropped. then came the second president bush but from 1968 through 2000, democrats all -- only one the president twice, once after
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watergate when president carter won and then when i was elected and the country was in trouble economically and then i was reelected partly because the company was already changing and people thought that we have proved that government did not have the mess up. it could make a lot better for people. in this whole time, but republicans have a bass boat about 45% and hours was about 40%. that should tell you all you need to know about what we did not win the white house very much. we had to get 2/3 of the undecided vote and i only had to get 1/3. we had to be twice as good as they were, as politicians, or we had to have very bad conditions. all national elections are determined by three things -- the underlying political culture, the conditions at the time, and the quality of the candidates. now, sometime in my second term,
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our political bases begin to even up. this was partly because of the performance by to give credit where credit is due. the biggest reason was that america was changing. we were going more diverse. we were moving away from being a biracial mission to beijing multiracial, multicultural, multi religious nation, more oriented psychologically to humanitarian solutions. in 2000 and 1998, the democrats won the midterm election for the first time since 1822. that was spent some of you in this audience. [applause] in 2000, the republicans got close enough to get into the supreme court and when 5-4. in a decision that i thank was one of the five worst recessions ever handed down [applause]
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-- five worst decisions ever handed down to give credit where credit is due, president bush ran a brilliant campaign in 2000. passionate conservatism was a brilliant slogan which reflected his gut understanding that the country had changed and it would not tolerate over racism any more. he had a good relationship with the latino community in texas. he had a fairly progressive position on immigration at the time. they had not quite come over to the side that the government should be an integral partner to our future designs. compassionate conservatism meant to swing voters, not their base, that we can give you everything that bush would give the with the smaller government and a lower tax base. would you like that?
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after he won, he ran into the old adage that life's greatest curse can be answered prayers. for the first time since president nixon was elected in 1968 and president reagan added to the message in the 1980 election, the american people actually got to see what would happen if they could do what they had been talk about all this time. they did not like it very much. the 2002 and 2004 elections occurred in the shadow of 9/11. we had never replaced the president during an ongoing conflict. the margin of victory was the smallest since woodrow wilson in 1916. 2006, the democrats won the congress. [applause] just like 40 years earlier, in 1966, it was the canary and the coal miner. the morning it to the 2006 election i said if we do not
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elect a convicted felon, we will win in 2008. [laughter] and there's nothing they can do about it. look what happened in 2008 -- we had a better candidate, they have terrible conditions, and culture was with us. america is a different place today. we don't have time for these divisions over race or gender or sexual orientation or anything else. we know that we live in an interdependent country an interdependent world. everybody knows that one major significance of president obama postelection is that he is the first african-american president and people a certain age like me who are southerners, that is a big deal. it lifts an awful burden of history of our president and enables every parent in america to tell every child that you could live up to your god-given potential. that is important.
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[applause] but for your purposes, the second element of significance of the obama election may be even more important, particularly for those who are yogurt, for your future. this is the first presidential election to occur in a country that is self consciously humanitarian. that is not always more liberal on the issues but understanding that we will rise or fall together. we don't have time for these phony divisions. we don't have time to major in the minors and more. we don't have time to pretend that we don't care what other countries think of us anymore. h"we are to divorce, racially, culturally, and in every other way. o what he used to be the only state that had no majority race -- "y e hawaii used to be the
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only state that had no majority race. the united states will have no majority race by 2054 reduce greenhouse gases by 50%. the implications of that for us are important. do we still need to debate these issues? absolutely. do you need to debate when you think that the president is wrong or the state department is wrong or anybody else? absolutely. do we need a second party that the bible? we do. the republicans are making a terrible mistake wait for the president to mess up. as a democrat, that suits me fine. [laughter] the truth is, we need an honest, principled debate on all these complex issues. in order for them to join the debate, they have to abandon --
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[inaudible] >> you should go to one of those congressional health-care meetings. you would do really well. [applause] i would be glad to talk about that. if you will sit down and let me talk, i would be glad to discuss it. if you stand up and scream, i won't be able to talk. the other guys would love to have you. [laughter] i want to talk about that, too. anyway, here we are. in a different world. it is not like the 1990's. if you won as -- if you want to talk about don't talk don't tell, you could not deliver me and support in the congress and they voted by a veto-proof majority in both houses against my attempt to let gays serve in
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the military. the media supported them. the rest -- i got attacked instead of getting support in the congress. that is the truth. [applause] secondly, his true. -- it is true. you may have those that presidents are not dictators. they were about to vote for the old policy by margins exceeding 80% in the house and exceeding 70% in the senate. the gate test boats to send me a message that they would reverse any attempt on the executive order. let me remind you that the public opinion is more strongly in our favor that was 16 years ago and i have continued to support that. [applause] the chairman of the joint chiefs
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of staff under a new was against letting gays serve, is now in favor of it. this is a different world. that is the point i'm trying to make. let me also say something that never got sufficient publicity at the time. when colin powell came up with that policy, it was defined while he was chairman much differently than it was implemented he said if you will accept this, here is what we will do. we will not pursue any one, any military members out of uniform would be free to march in gay rights parade, go to gay bars, go to political meetings. what ever mailings they get or whatever they do in their private lives: none of this will be the basis for dismissal. it all turned out to be a fraud because of the enormous reaction against it among the mid-level officers and down after it was
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promulgated and colin powell was gone. no regrets at all this was implemented antonin -- any more than i do. congress also put that into law by a veto-proof majority and many of your friends voted for that believing that the explanation about how it would be eliminated. i hated what happened. i regret it. i did not have a choice at the time. can you believe they spent $150,000 to get rid of a guy who speaks arabic, recently? the thing that changed me forever on this was when i learned that 130 days' service people were allowed to serve and risk their lives in the first gulf war and all of their commanders knew there were day. but let them go out there because they needed them and when the first gulf war was
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over, they kicked them out. that is all i needed to know. this policy should be changed. [applause] while we are at it, let me say one thing about doma. the reason i signed it, i said at the time, whether gays should marry it should be led up to the -- left up to the states and religious organizations. we were attempting, at the time, in a reactionary congress, to head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the states. if you look up the referendum later in 2004 in the election
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with the republicans put on the ballot to get to president bush, i think it is obvious that something had to be done to try and keep the republican congress to say that the president does not be till evaporated the congress can refer constitutional amendments to the states. i did not like signing doma and i did not like the contrast and benefits. i did everything i could. the state department was the first federal department to restore benefits to gay partners in the obama administration. i think we are going in the right direction now for federal employees. i don't like doma. all these things illustrate the point i am trying to make. america has rapidly moved to a different place on many of these issues. what we have to decide is what we will do about it. right now, the republicans are sitting around reading for the
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president to fail, as nearly as i configured. one of the reasons that people are so hysterical arm these health care town hall meetings and they have been stirred up like they have is they know they have no chance to be health care this time unless they can delegate the years of moderate and conservative democrats. -- move fears of moderate and conservative democrats. i offered to write a health care bill with bob dole. bill kristol sent out a memo that said you cannot let the democrats pass health care or we will be a minority. the republicans got their filibuster. this time, there is no 45
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centers, and many of you. there is no filibuster option. there is no option here but to terrify people. [applause] let me say a word or two about health care and about the climate change legislation. i will then come back to what i think we all ought to be doing. there are three things that make health care really hard. first of all, its complexity. it is 16% of the county. anything that complex can be easily and honestly misunderstood and dishonestly manipulated. secondly, a lot of the stuff that will make the most difference of the long run is hard to cost out produce all the congressional budget office given a body blow to what the house is going to do.
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why is that? because the only thing they can count today are tax increases in medicare and medicaid cuts. those are tangible and you can count. we know how much money electronic medical records will say. -- save. lots more than that in unnecessary procedures but it is hard to know when those things will materialize. we know that delivery systems like the geisinger health plan and eastern pennsylvania, which has hundreds of doctors following just what the president wants to do, the best known practices in every kind of procedure, has enabled them to offer a guarantee to every and roll the but if you have any complications from a surgery, any complications from surgery within 90 days of leaving the hospital and you have to come back, they pay for, not you. no cost to you, no change in
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your opinion, no nothing. guess what? the error rate has dropped to 0, the costs have gone down, you do not have the same kind of inflation you have elsewhere. we know if you have a delivery system where doctors are paid poor performance and not procedural like the mayo clinic, like they are trying to do in green bay, and a larger plan in washington state, you can get higher quality care that much more modest cost. the mail program was cheaper than 70% of the alternatives anywhere in america. -- mayo program. it is hard cost that. the third problem that the present house was best articulate by machiavelli and the 16th century. [laughter] he said there is nothing so difficult in all human affairs than to change the established order of things.
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i will switch now to the 21st century jargon -- because the people who got it are certain of what they will lose and the people who will gain are uncertain of their advance. [applause] if we spend 16% of gdp on health care in canada spends 11 and all our other major compounder -- competitors are 10%, that means we are spotting our competitors $100 billion per year. if we insure 84 percent and they insure 100%, where is the money going? follow the money. that is what we are all facing. that is what the president and congress are facing. what should you do about it? if you don't think their plan is good enough, it is fine for you to advocate a public auction. i personally favor a public
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auction and i always have. [applause] i also favored some way of letting the uninsured by the federal plan because there are 36 different options in people who would want a more catastrophic type coverage of it would not pass the costs on to anyone else and would have less costly options. there are all kinds of options here. first things first -- i don't know how many of you saw the town hall meeting in new hampshire with president barack obama. i thought he did a terrific job because -- [applause] because he may be essential case and i read a lot of your blogs on health care. they basically assume that everyone -- has the same base level of knowledge you do. they start off here and go up. i do, so i like them.
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the president did an important thing that only a president can do unless everybody else is reinforcing. of like to respectfully suggest that if you did not see what he said, go back and look at it, and even if you want to disagree with the house plan or the senate plan, start with what he said. he had 83-point argument. number one, the worst thing a ball and the most danger to the most people is sticking with the status quo. it is bankrupting america, making families and secure, and undermining the future of the country. [applause] many americans were touched by that man screaming at congressman dingel with his child with cerebral palsy in front of him. i have been working with this for 17 years now. i went to 300 towns in america
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in march, april, and may last year. i did meet disabled kids word about losing coverage. their parents who lost their covers and could not get coverage and a word about it would be able to put food on the table or choose to keep their kids a lot. that is far more important. [applause] you have to make the case of the worst and we can do is the status quo. the second thing i think you have to do is figure three or four things that 100% of the people will vote for this, agree on, has to be in the bill and the three or four things that none of us want in the bill that we are being accused of. i personally think that helping somebody dropped a living will is not the same thing as inviting seniors to die. [applause] it is a legitimate thing.
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an enormous percentage of our health care expenditures occur in the last few weeks of life when many people are not compos mentis anymore. there is nothing anti-life or anti-american about a living will. one of the first thing that we did with hillary's dad was to make a living will. that does not have anything to do with all these crazy charges that are being made. you can say whatever you want about what is wrong with the senate plan and the house plan for it whatever you believe is fine. try to get the best bill you can is fine. first, we have to win the big argument. the worst thing to do was nothing, hear the things that everybody wants, hear the things that nobody wants, then hear
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your differences. if you can do that, you can reach millions and millions of people and one good day in new hampshire does not a campaign make. the president need your help and the cause need your help. this is really important. one other thing i would like to say -- i wish many of you will write -- it is not only morally right thing to do. it is politically imperative for the democrats to pass a health care bill now because one thing we know -- [applause] one thing we know and i have lived through is that if you get out there and you do not prevail, the victors get to rewrite history. i read all these people saying things about what happened in our fight in 1993 and a bunch of them are just want.
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i will give you examples. [laughter] not to go back there but to point out what could happen now, we have to preserve the progress of majority. we have to. [applause] everybody knows that hillary presented a horribly complicated, 1300-page bill which would have broken -- broken the backs of the federal statutes. what she should have done was refused to present a bill and have our committee issued a report to congress with recommendations. the problem is -- wanted% of the people cited a bill she presented took out more pages of federal law and it put in. it reduced the number of pages of federal law devoted to health care and it simplify the system from what it meant was. why do people not know that?
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because the insurance companies got to rewrite history. the second thing -- we actually pleaded with the house ways and committee's chairman to send the report with recommendations and have them write the bill and he said he will not take this up unless you send a bill. the interest rates will kill my committee. there's not another base level knowledge in the committee to resisted and we will not get anywhere. this will not happen unless you give so, we did as we require to do by the congressional process the point i am trying to make is, you want to go through that again? of course you don't. i don't care how low the drug support for this with it misinformation, the minute the president signs a health care reform bill, operable go up because americans are inherently optimistic. [applause] secondly, within one year, when
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all those bad things they say will happen don't happen and the good things to begin to happen, approval will explode. we cannot let people [applause] we cannot let people lose their nerve. i am pleading with you. it's ok if you want to keep everybody honest. if i say something you don't agree with on health care, by all means criticize me. but try to keep this going in the lane of getting something done. we need to pass a bill and move this thing forward. [applause] it is imperative. it is so important. i feel the same way about climate change. [applause] the bill that the house is working on, they estimated that
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it would not have such a big impact in reducing emissions and someone said it would be twice as much as what we thought. it was all due to things that have nothing to do a cat and trade in everything to do with accelerating our movement to electric cars and accelerate our movement to a parisian buildings, accelerated our movement to efficient electricity generation and closing some of these coal- powered power plants. the president stuck out his neck and the congress stuck out their neck and we have to have a bill. we'll never get china and indian in the copenhagen process unless we have a bill. if you want the progress, let's look at what really works. i am asking for your help, having nothing to do with washington for this is my current life. we work with 46 and six continents to help reduce
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greenhouse gas emissions. we work with 1100 cities to get them discount, clean energy technology. we're trying to retrofit the empire state building and cut emissions by 40% per who want to cut the electric bill by $4.5 million per year. i met with a bunch of people from puerto rico yesterday who want to plan to make their island energy independent. these are things that can be done. there are many practical things that need to be a death before get there. this cash for clunkers program has worked great. it is better than all the mechanisms of reorganizing the oil industry. cash for clunkers has worked great. we should put that on steroids and we could sell electric cars and buy them. [applause]
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there ought to be a six month waiting list for every electric car that any company can turn out before the first one is so because of the financial incentives. you should advocate that. it will make a huge difference. the other thing i would like to say is, the biggest thing we can do to help the present economically and help our country economically is to concentrate on least sexy part of the climate change debate, efficiency. [applause] we can get half the greenhouse gas settings by 2050 with efficiency. if we spent $520 billion on energy efficiency, we can say almost $1.2 billion in energy electric bills. what is the problem? the problem is, there is no
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parallel financing to clean energy in america. if you want to build a coal- fired power plant in finance it over 20 years. california has decoupled their rates and a couple of job other jurisdictions have. california will let the red utilities finance desperate as the best way. we sure of that, we need to get banks to do it. i had a commitment from banks to finance this as long as the consumer would pay back from utility savings over a long period time. the bank's collapse in the do not want to do it now. let's take some taxpayer money and create a small business
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guaranty funds, like the one for the sba, and have 10 times as much retrofitting done. that is the kind of thing you need to think about. [applause] i don't want to bore you with statistics but let but think about one thing. the banks of america today have $900 billion in uncommitted cash reserves. that means that tomorrow, in theory, they could make $9 trillion and loans. -- in loans. but about that. that is their lending capacity today which exceeds by tenfold the last stimulus. if we could dramatically accelerate the retrofitting of all public buildings, a housing projects, everything with user- friendly systems, we could put
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more than 1 million people to work. we deplore people's power bill. we could close the 22% of our coal-fired power plants. it contributes to more than 50% of the greenhouse gases, which come from col. we are not doing it because we have not found user-friendly systems that a parallel financing. this is the kind of stuff i spend my life working on. [applause] i hope that you will think about that. that is the lasting a want to say. i would like to see more blogsites say that what they want president barack obama to do. you can also tell the reader to suggest things for the reader to
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help the problem, no matter what is going on in washington, d.c. [applause] i watch this last 40 years and i want us to be mindful that sometimes we may have to take less than a full load. in 1992, i ran for president, saying i want to order the 2000 people per year lead a numerical. a total of 700,000 have grid want to president barack obama's bill's signing saying that we will have 250,000 people per year by 2010. it took 25 years. i wish we could have done it in eight. i think it is still a great thing for america. we have to be willing to understand.
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we had the american government guarantee stood laws. say to every student $1,300 in new pennant costs for every $10,000 they borrowed. in eight years, the taxpayers saved billions of dollars because people did not default on loans. president barack obama wants to make that the universal program in america. do you think i should do it -- do you think we should -- do you think i think we should do it? i certainly do. [applause] the secretary of education is going around to the states, asking them to abolish the limits on charter schools. as long as there are standards and accountability is, they work. when i campaigned in 1992, every political adviser said i was crazy because there was only one charter school in america in a town in minnesota and there were only two states that authorize it. that was minnesota and arkansas appeared when i left, there were 2000.
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now there are many thousands and if arne duncan has his way, there will be 20,000. was it worth waiting? you bet it is. you hold the seeds of a genuine revolution in our public life. you do it by mobilizing people and generating emotion but also getting people to think. people trust you, even people who don't agree with you, they believe you believe what you put it down. they don't believe you fudge the facts. they believe you were being straight. they believe this is an interactive live. they think if you make a mistake, it is a mistake of the head and not the heart. they believe they can engage with you in this debate. they believe we can create a great burgeoning american community where we argue these things out.
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i am not against argument. i like that that fellow challenge me on don't ask, don't tell. i wish it had not happened, as well. we should not pretend that we will all make nice all the time and nothing will ever be contentious. we should realize that we have been given this staggering responsibility. i have been waiting 40 years for this moment. all my life, i worked for a time when people believed our common humanity was more important than our interesting differences. all my life, i waited for a time when people in theory believed that we had to search for more wind-when solutions instead of win-lose solutions. i waited for a time when people with respect and find fascinating all of these differences that make up america but believed that what we have in common matters more. you are the trustees of this moment. most of the work like crazy to
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get in and we have to make the most of it. there is a state evenly divided or half of the president -- have the people don't believe that the president was born in united states. despite is not over. with a big-time responsibilities. it is an honor for all of us to be alive and to carry this responsibility we cannot be independent gallery. we have to be actors. we cannot ask the president to do it alone. we cannot ask the congress to do it alone. we have to be actors. you proved that and you prove it works. don't give up now and don't get downtrodden and don't get pessimistic and don't lose your energy because things don't work out the way you want. it will not take you 40 years to get the health care legislation you want for it will not take 40 years to get america right on global war agreed it will not
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take us for years to put americans back to work and stop this ridiculous growth in income inequality. politics matters. you can help. in the four years of my second term, we had a decline in income to qualify, the only time it happened since we went off the gold standard and remote 12 times as many people out of poverty in eight years as the previous 20 years. that is a statistic i'm most proud of. 100 times as many people. this matters. [applause] this matters. in this four years and the next four years and four years after that four, we can go on far beyond those achievements if all the rest of us do what we ought to do. this could be the most exciting time in all of human history.
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are there dangers? yes. but some other we'll run off? you betcha. we have good people in government. they are working hard. they are trying to do the right things. so are you. let's just all stay in the same boat so we can reap the reward that the american people deserve. thank you and god bless you. [applause] thank you. >> british voters are expected to go to the polls in national elections next spring. this weekend, the conservative party leader will talk on how the tory government will change current domestic policies. british politics, sunday night, on c-span. [no audio]
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>>"washington journal" is next. we will take your calls lot. arlen specter at 11:00 and his democratic primary challenger will give remarks to the netroots nation conference. also today from netroots, ralph nader on the supreme court. later in the day, we will hear from republican pat twomey who is running for senator specter's senate seat. live coverage begins at 7:40 p.m. eastern, here on c-span. coming up shortly, a look at some new health care ads being aired around the country. next hour, we will talk to eric eric andson of red

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